OVER THE RIVER AND THROUGH THE WOODS
The Christie Family
Every year since 1988, my sister, Sarah and her family have driven from North Carolina to Alabama to have Thanksgiving with me. My older sister, Shelby, and her family came for about 6-7 yrs and then health reasons prevented them from making the trip every year but still continued to come once in a while. 7 children under the age of 12 were camped out in sleeping bags all over the living room. It reminded me of a children's book written by Cynthia Rylant, "When the Relatives Came". With all that kissing and hugging, it took a whole hour to get from the front of the house to the back of the house!
Thanksgiving soon became more like "THANKSMAS" ... a reunion of family complete with Grandmother, sisters, husbands, brothers, cousins, and any one who decided to come along for the fun. This house was so packed with people you had to watch where you stepped for fear of crunching a finger or toe. Oh but it was FUN!! The cooking, the laughter, the games, football, shopping, movies, turning on the Christmas lights on Thanksgiving night, watching Christmas Vacation with everyone piled up wherever one could find a pillow or open floor space.
Though the numbers have decreased over the ensuing years due to death, bad health, or new family traditions...one constant remains...Sarah, Dan & Ericka.
Mother passed away in 2003 and Oh how we miss her! Thanksgiving was more important than Christmas because she got to see all of her "girls" together once a year.
Nephew Daniel has married and goes to his wife's home, Sister Shelby & BIL are battling life threatening health issues, cousins married, nieces & nephews have married, life marches on...but the Memories of those family Thanksgivings are forever etched into the fabric of this family.
One of my favorite and funniest memories was the Thanksgiving Prank that took on a life of its own! Who knew A bag of clothespins could provide so much fun??!! Each child was given a bag of clothespins. Over the course of 4 days, the object was to pin a clothespin on the back of someone without their knowledge. You could NOT tell anyone they were "pinned" and once you discovered a pin attached to your person, you could remove and place in YOUR bag of pins (adults always gave their pins to the nearest little prankster).
No Big Deal you say??? How would you like to go shopping on Black Friday and when you arrive at the Mall wonder why people are staring at you??? At some point you realize you have at least ONE or MORE CLOTHESPINS Attached to your clothing!!! You can not imagine the curious stares you get from people when they see 5-6 clothespins dangling from your backside and they don't know whether to tell you or let it go. What would YOU DO?????
Try going to a church musical production with clothespins attached to your backside!!
It was even greater fun to "PIN" someone in a very crowded elevator and watch them walk away... totally unaware they had a clothes pin dangling from their shirt/sweater/jacket?!!!!!LOL LOL
One year, my oldest sister made SURE all clothespins had been removed from her person before leaving to go home and even laughed about being "PIN FREE" UNTIL......................their first stop on the return trip to find their MUFFLER and BACK ANTENNA had been "PINNED"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We are a strange lot! Thanksgiving morphs every year to include the newest grandchild or guest to break bread with our family. Some years are quieter than others. All are memorable and worthy of the Hillis Holiday Hall of Fame!!!
Stay Tuned for more Holiday Traditions
|Looking across the play yard out toward the back field on the FARM|